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Men seeking to reform city governments in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the United States founded organizations they called city clubs. These clubs were typical Progressive-era reform organizations that were seeking to diminish the influence of party politics in municipal governments. City club members generally believed that the personal corruption and fiscal irresponsibility of many party politicians and their followers had fostered serious economic, political, and social problems. The stated purpose of these organizations was to foster a sense of civic engagement that would promote honest and efficient administration of city affairs through nonpartisan political action. City clubs originated in eastern and midwestern cities, including Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago, Boston, and Cleveland. Western cities such as Portland and Denver followed this ...

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